The focus of my work as a Health Coach is helping people reach their health and fitness goals by incorporating food and self-care routines that work for their body and lifestyle.   This includes finding a form of exercise that they enjoy and will maintain.

I recently met Samantha Erlichman, Manager and Head Trainer at the new CKO Kickboxing gym in Fanwood.  I was interested to learn how this kind of work-out could help my clients improve their health.  I was surprised to find out that kickboxing is more than just hitting bags.  This program involves a variety of upbeat exercise routines that are both intense and fun.  The members are encouraged to attend at least three of the 22 classes that are offered each week in order to experience significant change to their health.

Samantha also told me that work-out routines burn off 1200 calories at a time. We talked about the importance of fueling one’s body with nutritious and dense energy in order to lose weight and improve endurance when kickboxing.  It’s especially important what you eat before and after your visit to kickboxing so that you can perform your best in class, and recover afterwards.  She invited me to attend their Grand Opening event on Saturday, July 13, to share my advice on healthy snacking and offer samples of my favorite green smoothie.  Now that’s a challenge I will happily take on!

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Whether or not you take up kickboxing, if your goal is to lose weight and build muscle, all of your food, including your snacks should support your goals.  Here are a few simple snacking rules:

·       If you have sweet food, let the sugar come from fresh or frozen fruit.  Some alternatives are: fruit and plain yogurt, fruit smoothies, baked fruit with nuts on top, frozen grapes, frozen fruit popsicles and more.

·       Read the label for a sugar content of less than 8 grams in a serving size. Remember that 1 teaspoon of sugar equals 4 grams, or the amount of sugar in a packet (like the ones you see at restaurants). 

·       Skip the sweet drinks, including fruit juices that your body considers sugar water with vitamins.   If you like the taste of apple juice, eat the apple and get the benefit of the fiber that makes you feel full.  Same for other juices.  In short, consume calories that will really fill you up.  Drink water for thirst.

·       Include protein, fiber and healthy fat in your snacks; it will keep you full and give you nutrients as well.  Examples include:  hummus, avocado, or almond butter on raw vegetables or whole grain crackers.  A handful of nuts and seeds or mixed with dried fruit can be tasty and just enough to keep you going.

·       Make sure your meals are substantial so that your snacks don’t have to be large quantities of anything.  If your meals contain a lot of vegetables and protein and some carbohydrates, then you won’t have to compensate with unhealthy snack food later on. 

I will provide a list of my favorite power snacks and sweet green smoothies at the CKO Kickboxing Grand Opening on Saturday, July 13, 9 am-2:00 pm at 25 South Avenue in Fanwood.  For more information,  go to www.ckofanwood.com.

If you are unable to attend the event, call me at 908-242-3763 for a free phone consultation to discuss your diet and fitness goals. To learn more about my coaching practice, please visit www.recipeforahealthylife.com.